CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A purple and yellow passenger train appeared Sunday in a railroad siding in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood.
The Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company Engine 271 and passenger cars are parked on a siding track near 34th Street. Among the train cars: An open-air car with high-top tables, and two first-class passenger cars.
Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company, or the ACWR as its abbreviated, hopes to turn this train into a venue for private events and business gatherings.
"We wanted to bring a unique experience to Charlotte. Having a new venue like this... could be a good fit," Jennifer White, president of the railroad, explained. "NoDa is very trendy... and our railroad tracks go right through it."
The train features social space, including an indoor bar car and an outdoor car, which was converted from an old "maintainance of way vehicle" once used to build and maintain the railroad.
ACWR's new NoDa train
White said a team at the company's Candor-based headquarters has been restoring cars for the train. Some of the cars come from the company's vintage stock, while others were acquired from other companies or rescued from abandoned sidings.
Founded in 1987, the ACWR is a shortline railroad operating 150 miles of tracks in North Carolina. While most of ACWR's business is moving freight, they're hoping the private passenger train service could be their next venture.
In the short term, the train will stay parked along the company's tracks in NoDa. In the near future, they hope to rent out the train.
The railroad's western terminus is in Charlotte, where it connects to the large rail yard operated by Norfolk Southern. At their eastern edge, they connect to the rail network operated by CSX.
To see the train in NoDa, navigate to approximately 440 E 36th St in Charlotte.